Pour une transition vers des territoires et des sociétés durables

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Accueil > Écologie urbaine > Qu’est-ce que la ville durable ? > City Food Policies

City Food Policies

Securing our daily bread.

This dossier has been prepared for the portal CITEGO : cités territoires gouvernance : in the frame of Eating City platform :
It has been funded by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’Homme :

This dossier proposes a reflection on the relevance of city food policies as a lever to promote social and ecological resilience. It is based on the results of the Social Dialogue for a more Sustainable Food Supply Chain, that took place between 2010 and 2014 through the Eating City Platform. Indeed, cities concentrate people, goods, capital investments, infrastructure, knowledge and gradually expand worldwide, whereas rural exodus accelerates the decline of many territories. Despite the evidence that a city eats - it eats food and, in some ways, the land needed to produce it -, food is not usually considered among the competences of a city. Moreover, food issues are too often diluted between different aspects related to health, nutrition, environment, production, public food services or local economy, all being treated separately in a counterproductive systematic approach.

The dossier contains four analytic articles, twelve case studies and nine proposals.


Today, more and more cities re-evaluate food as means to improve urban planning and management, thus opening simultaneously several avenues for reflection, research and action. In a stimulating space of innovation, they are looking at new roles for institutions in food innovation dynamics and at tailor-made interfaces of cooperation between urban centers and adjacent territories. Innovative propositions are experimented, to combine food democratic imperatives, open participatory processes and food issues institutionalization, whereas a long-awaited common metric system is still needed to assess the consequences of food systems on environmental, social, economic assets.

The articles develop three main issues :

  • Moving towards a possible synergy between urban and rural territories.
  • Mainstreaming sustainable urban food systems : food as a commodity ? The metaphor of Urban metabolism to rebuild urban food supply chains…
  • Food policies must be based on a systemic vision.(Interview with the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia)

And gather the lessons learnt from different food policies.


Twelve case studies have been selected among a wide range of relevant experiences and classified in five categories that highlight different typologies of projects. The examination of all case studies shows that progresses are faster and easier where cities already having a deep concern for environmental issues and already have developed agenda 21 or environmental planning.

  • The Toronto experience : when food is about relationships and no more about commodities.
  • Bristol Food Policy Council : Catalyst and enabler of the Bristol Food System.
  • FoodWorks : Innovative urban food programs in New York City
  • Towards a sustainable Public Food Service in Copenhagen, using the lever of education and training.
  • Paris : Improving food system sustainability through the supply chain challenge.
  • Rome : When school canteens become the biggest organic restaurant of the whole country
  • Rennes’ food policy : A local partnership focusing on local farming to reconcile the city with rural areas
  • “Organic Metropolis Nuremberg” : Increasing organic and local food production
  • Saragossa : a city developing a sustainable vision between tradition and innovation
  • Brussels, a city-region which bets on urban agriculture to stimulate sustainable food-based local economy
  • Geneva : using territorial marketing to increase food self sufficiency and local food consumption.
  • Turin, the Italian Detroit for a new culture of food


These propositions are largely inspired form a preceding work : "La ville qui mange" (1) and are the result of an analytical work on the relevance of city food policies as a lever to promote social and ecological resilience.
The three articles expose the 9 propositions based the 15 original propositions that emerged from the 12 case studies insights of this dossier.

  • Territorial and Institutional Tools.
  • Urban Planning : to create a continuum between urban farmers and rural city-dwellers.
  • The leverage effect of Public Food service for successful city Food Policies

Bibliography :
Nicolas Krausz, Isabelle Lacourt, Maurizio Mariani, (2013), La ville qui mange. Ed ECLM, Paris, p. 285,

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